1st day of London carnival passes peacefully

AP News
Posted: Aug 28, 2011 5:26 PM
1st day of London carnival passes peacefully

The Notting Hill Carnival, Europe's largest street festival, has begun successfully with few problems reported on Sunday.

The festival closed before dark this year to discourage any repetition of the riots and looting that erupted in London and other cities earlier in the month.

Police described the opening day of the two-day festival as peaceful, and reported 33 arrests, including six for assault and one for an offensive weapon. Drunkenness and disorder usually result in a few hundred arrests each year.

Police deployed 5,500 officers on duty at the festival on Sunday and 6,500 on Monday, the main day of the carnival.

Launched in 1964, the carnival has grown into a major street event that typically attracts 1 million people.